It’s that time of year when we begin to sum up the worth of the previous eleven months and sift them like wheat for anything of value. We ask the following question: what has been the fruit of my labors this past year? While I am quite confident that God has used me in the life of others this year and there is measurable fruit to be seen, I must be honest and tell you that I am struggling with some issues that will impact the future.
Of late it seems my mind is constantly full of thoughts concerning our church family and serious subject matter such as biblical parenting, godly prioritization of our lives, proportional giving, and developing leaders for the next generation; however, what I find to be almost consuming me is the subject of church and how we do it in America.
I am much afraid the church is doing nothing more than keeping people busy with “religious” stuff activities designed to build numbers and generate cash flow. I am concerned that we are forfeiting some of the most important things of our faith to make room on the calendar for programs and events.
My prayer as we head into 2012 is that God will grant me wisdom as to how we can become a people who live for Jesus as a result of what’s welling up on the inside rather than what we have been corralled into from the outside. I pray that we would find a way to deprogram our lives from traditional thinking and become relational ministers in every aspect of our lives, reshaping our thinking in regards to Bible study, worship and missions. I study the Bible because it is where I learn of God, not because I need to be ready for class. I worship because Jesus is living in me and I need to express to God my gratitude. I don’t go on a mission trip; I am continually on mission for Jesus Christ.
I have a great desire to see the physical church look less like the church of America and more like the synagogue we read about in the word. Rather than a place we gather for an hour or two and act spiritual, it becomes a hub for educating, equipping, engaging believers, and ultimately exalting God.
In addition to training ourselves to think differently, a greater struggle will be to mesh what we have begun in the pre-school and academy with this thinking. How do we meet the need for great academics and child care while not ushering people into the same busy lifestyle and mindset of the world?
My question is simply: how do we walk more like Christ and not have the footprint of men?
I pray you have a blessed Christmas and New Year!
In His Service,